Every company wants to be successful. But what is the magic ingredient that everyone is looking for?
Is it a prosperous sales kickoff? Is it adequate customer satisfaction?
Not quite. Try turning in the other direction.
That’s right. The magic of every company lies in its employee morale and job satisfaction.
When employee morale is high, workers are much more willing to contribute efficiently and without reservation to their job. And this ultimately impacts the entire culture and morale of the company.
Little employee turnover means that employees like working there. And that’s when you know a company is doing something right.
If your team members suffer from low morale, their motivation may be lacking. And this can be palpable to customers and affect the productivity of the business as a whole.
But high morale in the workplace can do wonders for employees’ professional and personal health. So how do you measure employee satisfaction?
Are there specific things that a company should do to combat low morale? All of these questions can be answered by reading the following tips below.
You’ll learn how to create a prosperous and supportive work environment. And this will only reinforce your team’s morale while reminding them just how integral they are to the company’s success as a whole.
So pull up a chair and get ready for some employee feedback. Soon enough, you’ll be able to make employees feel significant and heard in the workplace.
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#1. Employee surveys
It’s one thing to say you have an open door. But it’s another thing to actually have systems that keep your door open.
Instituting a regular employee survey is a great way to measure employee engagement and morale overall. It also keeps employees accountable for remaining honest and reflective about their experiences.
You may want to make your survey anonymous as some employees may feel self-conscious giving feedback. I mean, would you tell your supervisor everything without restraint?
Probably not. But anonymity can provide employees the chance to express their concerns without negative repercussions.
This isn’t to say that a manager will only receive surveys with horrible feedback, reflecting negative morale. But it gives workers the chance to process their role within the company without everyone’s eyes on their responses.
Below are some examples of questions to include in your survey. And be sure to make space for workers to provide suggestions or solutions too!
- Are you content in your position currently?
- Do you feel that there is room to grow and progress within your particular role?
- How likely are you to stick with the company?
- If you are thinking of leaving, why?
- How would you measure other employee’s level of satisfaction?
- Do you feel like you have an adequate amount of resources available to you within this organization?
- If not, what resources would you recommend be available to you?
- What suggestions do you have for the way your department is run?
It can obviously be scary to ask these big questions of employees. But this is the only way to open up a path of positive communication.
Too many companies rely on poor management without knowing their management is poor. That’s because workers are not encouraged to speak up.
But facilitating an employee survey allows you to get regular feedback. This can help prevent employee turnover and boost workplace morale overall.
Additionally, regular surveys allow you to measure employee morale in real-time. Your managers might save surveys as an annual tradition.
But try to enact change and make them monthly. Even weekly!
This way, you can address issues throughout the year rather than waiting for the annual survey count. Who knows – this could help you identify issues as you go so you can quickly nip them in the bud!
#2. Periodic interviews
So you’ve learned one way of measuring employee morale anonymously. But how might anonymity lack engagement and defeat the purpose of boosting morale?
Well, anonymity can be great for individuals who aren’t comfortable expressing their concerns outright. But then these issues can’t always be fixed without interpersonal communication.
Then you’re just left with the irony of anonymity. And low morale, to boot.
So what can you do to foster that kind of interpersonal communication? And how can you make the process more personal without intimidating your more introverted employees?
Periodic interviews. Interviews give employees the chance to meet directly with their manager or human resources.
And this can help to develop a rapport and positive morale overall. Below are some questions for you to ask employees to get the ball rolling.
But feel free to put in your own suggestions. It doesn’t have to be all work all the time!
- What was your biggest accomplishment this month/week?
- What made that possible and how did it influence your productivity?
- What can we improve with project XYZ?
- Are there other ways that the organization as a whole can support you?
- How do you feel things are going with the team?
- If you were in my position, what would you do to improve the business?
- What’s the next big thing you’re looking forward to working on?
- What was the best part of this past week?
- Who would you like to thank this week and why?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add or share?
All of these questions are just an example of how to get the conversation started. You don’t have to go through each and every one.
But each of them is invested in the employee. And their answers to each could also determine their attitude toward the company as a whole.
Additionally, these questions are also like a progress report in disguise. Even just the sound of a performance review can send some running for the hills.
But when it is worked into a meeting where workers can also give feedback to their managers, then the playing field is evened out. So be sure to give them space to talk as well.
That’s right. These interviews are not just for the manager to ask questions.
Leaving space for employees to talk about their experiences is crucial for engagement. Not only are you able to better communicate with employees.
You’ll also help to boost employee morale. Like killing two birds with one stone, right?
Low employee morale often stems from feeling like the workplace just doesn’t care about the individuals on the team. But these interviews actively demonstrate the company’s interest.
So approach these interviews as a chance to improve employee engagement and morale overall. Encourage them to be honest about how they would score their experience at the company.
Then, identify and determine the issues at hand and work together to address them. Even just including the team in their own development is a sign to them that companies care.
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#3. Track performance data
So far, the tips on how to measure employee morale have been rooted in interpersonal communication and surveys. But that’s not to say that data can’t provide just as valuable feedback.
Surveys and people can lie. Or, at least they can gloss over some of the workplace issues they actually want to address.
But numbers are far more reliable. And they’re practically incapable of lying.
Tracking individual performance data is a great way to keep tabs on your employees’ morale and productivity. A team member who is struggling with morale won’t be able to hide behind numbers.
You might notice that an employee’s survey points to nothing wrong. But when you look at their performance, data can say otherwise.
Employees with low morale may come up short on deadlines. They might also be less willing to discuss ways to improve the business as a whole.
This is not to say that some employees don’t just suffer from a bad case of “the Mondays”. But if an employee’s performance is consistently negative, then it might be time for the managers to step in and offer some help.
If this is the case, ask employees how management can better support them. Gently address their lack of productivity as of late.
And see if there are other ways that the organization can better support workers’ needs and morale. Some employees simply won’t ask for help.
That’s why management must remain observant and not just rely on what the surveys say. So keep your eye on any productivity metrics you can.
Looking at the group and work environment as a whole is always important. But paying attention to individual employees is the way to best assess morale.
#4. Observe turnover and absence rate
If you’re still having trouble with little to no high morale, consider observing the company’s turnover and absence rate. The number of times employees are late can be a sign of how well companies run themselves.
If that number is relatively low, that would indicate that employees are happy to get to work. In fact, they’re so happy that they’re prompt about doing it!
But if that number is high, companies might have to take a step back and look around. Absent employees lead to low productivity.
And low productivity is bad for management, the company, and its individual employees as well. You’ll find that the measure of productivity is linked to almost every part of the organization.
So finding any spot of evidence, whether on a survey or otherwise, of low employee satisfaction will be integral for boosting morale. Additionally, it’s a given that some employees may leave.
It might be for one reason or another. And sometimes, those reasons are completely beyond your control.
But as a manager, try not to take their leaving as something personal. Instead, take the opportunity to conduct an exit interview.
In the interview, you can openly inquire about how the training or salary might have impacted an employee’s decision to leave. Or, you may find that the employee has suggestions for the organization as a whole.
If you happen to have a high employee turnover rate, then you know there’s something wrong. But each time a person leaves, just take it as an opportunity to learn.
Some may find that their attitude no longer aligns with that of the company. But others may actually have the emotional bandwidth to offer suggestions on how to boost employee morale.
Even if an employee leaves for personal reasons, the organization should always take their leaving as an opportunity. Progress can always be made.
But it takes a willing ear to listen. So make sure that your current employees can have a better experience than your employees’ past.
#5. Implement necessary change
Now that you’ve got a good measure of employee morale, it’s time to implement change. Too often, an organization will conduct surveys or ask for feedback.
Then, no action will be taken to fix the issues brought up. So the best way to prove that you are invested in the attitude and morale of your employees is to follow up on your word.
Some changes are easy to boost employee morale. They may be more technical like shortening the lunch break for a shorter workday.
Or, they may be bigger changes that require more critical thinking. Below are six essential ways to accomplish positive change as a manager.
So gather all information on employee morale from your surveys and interviews alike. And apply the following points to the information that you’ve just acquired.
- Set consistent expectations for each employee
- Treat each employee based on their specific strengths
- Match employees’ roles to their talents and abilities
- Challenge your employees
- Care, recognize and acknowledge individual accomplishments
- Let go of an employee when necessary for the greater good
Some of these points might seem like tough love. Especially the last one.
But if someone isn’t doing their job and isn’t willing to change, then no amount of surveys will be able to change their attitude. Employee morale depends on everyone.
Each member of the team must contribute to the morale of the whole. And it’s your job to get everyone on the same page.
Whistle while you work
It’s a phrase we know from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But it’s not one that many would employ when talking about the workplace.
Employee morale takes work. It requires effort to get everyone feeling positive and productive.
So don’t feel bummed if your employee morale isn’t where you want it to be. You just have to start someone.
The biggest thing about employee morale is following through. If you promise a better morale and fail to deliver, or underdeliver, it will only weaken the morale you had to begin with.
Start with a survey. But end with an action.
Do as many surveys as you need. But always follow through with positive change.
It can be hard to know what change is for the better or for the worse. But the only way you can learn is if you try.
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Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, corporate entertainer, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular comedian, magician, and virtual speaker.